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Unformatted text preview: Andrew Lazarow WRT 205 Persuasive essay How Do I Motivate These Kids? It’s not every day that my family is together. That’s what makes nights like tonight so special. The house smells amazing from my mother’s cooking and everyone is gathering around the kitchen table in anticipation for dinner. My mother finally says “dinner’s ready” and everyone sits down and starts digging in. That’s when my mother and sister start comparing their weeks as teachers. My mother, Ellen, is a Long Island middle school teacher and my sister, Erica, is an elementary school teacher in New York City. The conversation begins with both Erica and Ellen being frustrated by the lack of motivation from their students. Motivation is a very important part of a student’s success. Without motivation, a student is much less likely to graduate high school and either go to college, or get a job that pays above minimum wage. Although my mother and sister agree they need to find a way to motivate their students, the way in which they attempt to motivate their students differs. Ellen uses positive incentive, or rewards, to motivate her students. She explains that positive incentive only works when assuming certain factors. An example of this is students need to start being rewarded young. This means that a high school teacher may have problems motivating his or her student with positive incentive if the student was never rewarded before. Ellen also explains that the reward must be age appropriate and meaningful. This is very understandable because “if a reward is not meaningful and age appropriate then the student will not get the happy experience the reward is supposed to bring. That feeling is very important because that is what makes the student repeat the behavior.” Andrew Lazarow WRT 205 Persuasive essay Erica looks at motivation from the other side of the spectrum. While working with inner city students Erica has found that consequences motivate her students more than positive incentive. She explains to Ellen that “consequences help students understand responsibility and that every action has a reaction.” Erica also feels that it is easier to use as a teacher because unlike reward, consequences can be started at any age. The teacher just needs to make sure that the punishment is appropriate for the age. For example as an elementary school teacher, Erica is able to take away privileges such as recess. Taking away thirty minutes of a high school student’s free time may not send the same message though. Both Erica and Ellen agree to disagree and enjoy the family’s company for the rest of dinner. With teachers from the same family not being able to agree on how to motivate students it is understandable that it is not clear where motivation comes from. Although, according to Samuelson, many people assume that if a student isn’t motivated it is the school’s or teacher’s fault, but there are many people influencing a student every day of his or her life. From when the fault, but there are many people influencing a student every day of his or her life....
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course WRT 205 taught by Professor Yager during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.
- Spring '08